Wills and Estates

Estate & Will Planning in Maple Ridge

Do I need a Will?

Estate planning is not only for the elderly. Every adult should have an estate plan specifying what should happen to their property when they pass away. While most people prefer not to think too far ahead, death is a reality that is, for most of us, unplanned. It is much better to draw up your own will and testament than to rely on what the law has in store for everyone who did not take the time to do so. If you have a spouse and/or children, it is especially important for you to have a will to ensure they are properly taken care of once you have moved on. Act without delay.

What is Probate?

Probate is essentially a process whereby the Executor of a Will gets the Court’s stamp of approval on the validity of the Will. The Court is also granting authority to the Executor to move forward with handling the Estate.

Most Wills need to go through the Probate process. This can take a number of months and can be very frustrating for people trying to do this on their own.

We are able to take the stress out of the process and handle this for you. We are also able to get it done very quickly in many cases.

Unless all of the beneficiaries consent in writing, no assets should be distributed until 210 days after the Court has issued the Grant of Probate. The sooner you get going on it, the better.

What Are Probate Fees?

Probate filing fees must be paid to the Court Registry at the time Probate is Granted. The fees are:

  • If the estate is worth less than $25,000 – no fee.
  • If the estate is worth over $25,000 – basic fee of $208.
  • If the estate is worth between $25,000 and $50,000 – basic fee of $208 plus $6 per $1,000 (for a total of $358 for the first $50,000).
  • If the estate is worth over $50,000 – $358 plus $14 per $1,000 of estate value over $50,000.
Who Needs a Power of Attorney?

The short answer is that most people can benefit from having a Power of Attorney prepared. We tell clients the Power of Attorney is for them while they are alive – the Will is for those they leave behind.

The Power of Attorney typically names one or two people who can manage your legal and financial affairs if something happens and you are unable to participate for some reason.

The Power of Attorney may need to be used short term, to reinsure your vehicle for example while you are in hospital temporarily. Or the document may need to be used long term, if you lose your ability to manage your affairs permanently.
If a person who has no Power of Attorney owns investments, for instance, and they lose their faculties, no one can balance those investments or use the funds to provide for the care of the patient.  Often it is a house that needs to be sold but can’t be rented or sold without the Court’s approval if no POA exists.

Without a well written Power of Attorney that  specifies a broad range of powers for the Attorney, a Court application for Committeeship is required and this greatly extends the time that your needs are not being met.

How Much Does a Power of Attorney Cost?

At Meadowridge Law Group we charge $175 + tax for a Power of Attorney naming one Attorney and $200 + tax if 2 attorneys are named. The attorneys have to verify their identities and sign several documents.